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Mice Infected With Toxoplasma Gondii Parasite Show Alzheimer’s Improvements

March 22, 2012

The parasite Toxoplasma gondii has some favorable effects on the pathogenesis and progression of a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease, reports a Mar. 21 study in the open access journal PLoS ONE.

Toxoplasma gondii, a parasite commonly hosted in cats and generally known for the potential complications it can cause for human pregnancies, suppressed the immune system. The researchers behind today’s study, led by Eun-Hee Shin of the Seoul National University College of Medicine, found that this immune system suppression had positive effects on Alzheimer’s disease mouse models, resulting in a significant decrease in the amount of b-amyloid plaque deposition, a hallmark of Alzheimer’s disease, and better performance in behavior tests like a water maze.

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